Created By: Chabal2 on May 22, 2013 Last Edited By: Chabal2 on 21 hours ago

Stab The Storm

Death from holding up a sword in a thunderstorm.

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Trope
During the final confrontation between the hero and the villain on a rooftop or other elevated location during a thunderstorm, the hero slips and finds himself at the mercy of the villain. He holds his weapon high, ready to deliver a Coup de Grâce (possibly accompanied by a Pre-Mortem One-Liner), when suddenly there is a bright flash and the villain is no more (or at least stunned, allowing the hero to finish him off).

See also Improvised Lightning Rod and Stab the Sky.


Examples:

Manga
  • One Piece: In Loguetown Arc, Buggy the Clown got Luffy at his mercy as he pinned Luffy down on Gold Roger's execution pedestal, and raised his sword up as he prepares to behead Luffy. Right before he does, however, Buggy's sword got struck by lightning, saving Luffy from Buggy.

Comic Books
  • Batman Vampire: As Batman and Dracula are fighting, Dracula gains the upper hand long enough to raise his sword and get hit by lightning, stunning him long enough for Batman to throw him off so he ends up Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • In the lead story of World's Finest #161 (volume one), the future Batman XX is fighting Joker XX on the planetoid Thorium, which is racked by constant thunderstorms. The fight moves to the top of an abandoned weather control tower, and Joker XX picks up a "lightning force attractor" to bash the temporarily downed Batman XX with. He raises it above his head, stabbing the sky—Joker XX does not survive.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Jei's Blade on a Stick proves to be a bad weapon to use in a thunderstorm, as he ends up a pile of cinders. The demon possessing him, however, just needs a new host.
  • Idées Noires: An officer on horseback is telling the troops to charge. He holds his sword up before the big moment... and is promptly electrocuted mid-yell. The troops decide that since they didn't hear what it is he was saying, they might as well leave.

Film
  • Averted in the film version of Lord of the Rings: when Gandalf fights the Balrog on the mountain's peak, his sword is struck by lightning. The lightningbolt is contained by the sword, allowing Gandalf to throw down his enemy and smite its ruin upon the mountainside.

Literature
  • In one of the Redwall books, the heroes are caught by surprise during a storm at sea by the Big Bad and her Dragon. He grabs a spear, pulls his arm back... and is fried by a lightning bolt.

Video Games
  • Invoked by the player in Ōkami: when Ninetails raises his pronged sword, that's the cue for Amaterasu to connect one of the lightning clouds in the background to the sword, electrocuting Ninetails and leaving him vulnerable. This also applies to the Final Exam Boss, Yami.
  • Inversion in Skyward Sword: in the battle with Demise, lightning is constantly crashing around you. In order to beat him, you must hold your sword up until a lightningbolt hits it, and use to throw a supercharged Sword Beam at Demise, stunning him. That is, if he doesn't do it to you first.

Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • May 22, 2013
    SharleeD
    Does this necessarily have to happen to a villain?
  • May 22, 2013
    Chabal2
    No, it just often does.
  • May 23, 2013
    Stratadrake
  • May 23, 2013
    Boston
    The Bishop in Caddyshack (not quite the villian of the story) gets hit by a bolt of lightning after having the best game of golf in his life.
  • May 24, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ Did he raise his golf club in the air in victory?
  • May 24, 2013
    Boston
    Y-e-s. How on earth did I forget to mention that small detail....

  • May 24, 2013
    Chabal2
    ^^^ What do you mean by not quite the villain?
  • May 25, 2013
    DracMonster
    On the Caddyshack one, he's having his best game ever, but he misses his final putt. He raises his putter in a screaming Rage Against The Heavens, and ZAP.
  • May 25, 2013
    Stratadrake
    So it doesn't fit the Stab The Sky pattern, then. And I still think Death By Lightning Rod would work better.
  • May 28, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Invoked by the player in Okami: when Ninetails raises his pronged sword, that's the cue for Amaterasu to connect one of the lightning clouds in the background to the sword, electrocuting Ninetails and leaving him vulnerable. This also applies to the Final Exam Boss, Yami.
  • May 29, 2013
    SKJAM
    In the lead story of World's Finest #161 (volume one), the future Batman XX is fighting Joker XX on the planetoid Thorium, which is racked by constant thunderstorms. The fight moves to the top of an abandoned weather control tower, and Joker XX picks up a "lightning force attractor" to bash the temporarily downed Batman XX with. He raises it above his head, stabbing the sky--Joker XX does not survive.
  • June 1, 2013
    Clevomon
    If it weren't a snowcone, I'd seriously suggest calling this Ben Franklin Hates Your Guts.
  • June 1, 2013
    Clevomon
    • snowclone
  • June 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    All title proposals so far have been snowclones of something. Snowclones are like guns: Only evil when used improperly.
  • April 23, 2016
    DAN004
    Stab The Storm is okay if we allow snowclones. But as alternative, maybe Accidental Lightning Rod?
  • yesterday
    DAN004
    • One Piece: In Loguetown Arc, Buggy the Clown got Luffy at his mercy as he pinned Luffy down on Gold Roger's execution pedestal, and raised his sword up as he prepares to behead Luffy. Right before he does, however, Buggy's sword got struck by lightning, saving Luffy from Buggy.
  • yesterday
    TonyG
    Non-villainous example: On The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Beauty Queen", the family is watching Little Miss Springfield at an opening ceremony on TV when it starts to rain.
    Marge: Oh, dear. It would be such a shame if that pretty little dress got wet.
    Lisa: I'd say the bigger danger is her scepter acting as a lightning rod. Unless it's made out of plastic.
    [Boom!]
    Bart: Nope. Metal.
  • yesterday
    Antigone3
    Not a hero-villain confrontation, but the Wilderness Survival Guide (first edition AD&D) discusses lightning safety in the context of the game at one point. The author recommends that any PC who stands out in a lightning storm wearing metal armor, holding a metal weapon toward the sky, be given "the jolt to end all dolts".
  • 21 hours ago
    DAN004
    Guess that we don't need the "hero-villain" thing in the description at this point.

    This may be Played For Laughs too if it's a Harmless Electrocution with X Ray Sparks.
  • 21 hours ago
    zarpaulus
    The Redwall book in question was Triss.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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